The moment I have been waiting for (what feels like) 30 years has finally arrived: The final season of Mad Men. The end of an era. Someone talk me off the ledge.
OK, it’s not that bad, but I’m still going to miss these characters immensely. I started watching Mad Men when I was in PR school and, I’m not lying, it moved me to go for advertising work after graduating. Well, that and the idea that I could wear impeccable Italian cut suits, drink whiskey all day, and basically be a horrible person while being rewarded. PS: the system works! We’re now in 1970 with these folks and the agency has been swallowed up by a larger one, everyone’s fighting about money and taking revenge for slights that happened more than 5 years ago, and Don is still seeing ghosts. Beautiful, fur-drenched ghosts.
Since it’s 1970, moustaches have popped up on the trendy kids at SCDP, and their champion is Roger Sterling. Let me prepare you now with the knowledge that I get weak for a man with facial hair.
Sporting his usual grey palette, Roger’s looking especially fine with his new ‘stache and praise Jesus he seems to be over the plaid and/or pin striping embellishments. A simple polka dot tie is all he needs to stay en vogue.
The episode opens with Don and Roger ballin’ out in some rundown diner with three gorgeous women, all dressed for success. Don’s being a gentleman and courting just one woman, who happens to have stolen a costume from the Jesus Christ Superstar finale. Roger’s dates are no less noticeable but my eye immediately goes the blonde in the tangerine batwing dress. Let it be known: I love orange and I love batwing sleeves. Advantage, nameless date number one!
While Roger looked more like a dog with two dates, at least he’s up front. Don gets home and calls his answering service (which, hello — quaint!) to score another piece before the morning. He settles on a flight attendant, because we all know they were the pinnacle of one night stands in the 70s (see: every cliché male fantasy from 1970s TV and film). I’m so completely sold on her Mod look — the colour, the cut, the round pockets and the knee-high white boots are doing something good for me.
It wouldn’t be a Don Draper sex parade without a hallucination of an old flame, and I straight up gasped when Rachel Menken walked onto the screen. She was always my favorite affair because she could challenge Don without coming across like a shrew. And she’s gorgeous. Rachel is one of the best female characters not on the main cast — she deserved more! I’m glad we got to see her vamp on Don in the chinchilla coat and tease him stone cold.
Then we find out she died off-camera, and Don slips into one of his trademark shame spirals. Baby, this ain’t about you. Mourn the woman.
Onto the strongest females on Mad Men. Joan and Peggy have become a serious duo, taking on clients and giving them some real talk. Joan lays it out for Topaz pantyhose and says that Hanes L’eggs are going to bury them. Spoiler alert: she’s right. Joan’s style is such a contrast to Peggy: bold colours, dramatic embellishments like the collar and cuffs, and topped with flashy jewellery.
Peggy’s always favored a more conservative look in terms of the structure of her clothes. Usually there’s a coat or vest that goes with her concealing collars; maybe a scarf tied right at the neck. Oh, Peggy loves a pattern! It was getting a little dicey last season and in season 6, but I like these clashing polka dots and squares happening here.
After getting harassed by the boys club at McCann, Joan and Peggy share a shady-ass elevator ride where Peggy calls out Joan for dressing provocatively and Joan says, “Damn right and I’ll always look better than you.” I was literally blinded by Joan’s fuschia suit but pairing it with that gold coat is nothing short of me screaming “YAAAASSSSSS QWEEEN” at a bus stop for 20 minutes.
Peggy’s outfit looks like a coat but then I see another coat in her hand and I’m thinking would a less bulky fabric be so wrong? I mean, maybe it’s cold, or maybe she’s just comfortable in what looks like unfinished wool, but I’m sweating just looking at her.
Off the clock, Joan and Peggy take their respective styles to the next level. We all love a Pretty Woman moment when we’re stressed, and it looks like Joan is the OG. Personally, I think feathers are a touch too Lola at the Copa. Everything else is working for me. The pearl cuffs and collar are a fun touch and the neckline is doing 900 good things on Joan.
Peggy went on a date this episode…with Brian from My So Called Life!!! She looks radiant in this pearlescent blue and (again) I’m a sucker for Mod inspired fashion; the linking circle pattern accessorized with a circle brooch is beautiful. Can we get a round of praise hands for Peggy’s new hair? It’s fun, flirty and suits her much better than last year.
The agency drama in this episode landed on Ken’s shoulders. First, he got fired because McCann aren’t down with Cosgrove leaving them a few years back. I hate the color of his suit because it blends with his hair, and he looks like a walking paint swatch. But I adore what Shirley’s wearing! It’s almost neon and in one of those quintessential 70s floral patterns that I’ve always melted over (and yes, I know that’s polyester). More of this, please!
Cynthia’s been pushing Ken to quit anyway because she a) believes in his writing, b) hates SCDP, and c) is filthy rich. I loved watching this family scene because it felt so beyond Americana, I didn’t know where to look. The in-laws complaining about retirement, the wife in a sassy-for-the-suburbs dress, the husband gifting “dad” with some golf clubs. I was smiling while barfing.
Despite all those amazing fashions, and all those beautiful people, I saved my future ex-husbear Stan for last. His beard is even more lush, his hair wavier than a California beach, his jeans hugging just the right amount Stan, and the scarves are growing in size. Let the church say Amen!
It shouldn’t be any surprise that by the end of this episode you should feel a delightful contempt for everyone. They’re mostly terrible people who are bound to tolerate one another because they don’t have friends outside of the agency. I didn’t clock many cocktails in this episode but I’ve got a feeling we’ll be seeing some serious alcohol-fuelled breakdowns this season.